Every amazing vacay is ultimately about making memories that will last a lifetime. Picking out your destination, packing your beach-day essentials and perfecting your chic vacation hair are a breeze, but the actual making-memories part? That’s a little tougher to figure out. So vacation rental company HomeAway teamed up with researchers at the University of Texas at Austin to put some science behind exactly what makes a great vacation so memorable. Surprisingly, the new study found that one v. common habit could be key: taking selfies.

Friends taking selfie near mountains

Researchers led by psychology professor Art Markman surveyed over 700 vacationers from six countries — the US, France, Germany, the UK, Spain and Italy — before, during and after their vacations. Additionally, some participants downloaded an app that recorded the amount of time spent on their devices during the vacay.

According to the team’s research, people who take selfies and other photographs remember their vacations 40 percent better than their less-photo-friendly counterparts. Sharing the photos on social media or in an online album gives an even bigger boost. But of course, there are two sides to every coin: The study also found that people who use phones or devices for more than two hours a day are 26 percent less likely to remember vacation details.

Other interesting findings? Mountain vacations are the most remembered (ski trip, anyone?), and people who travel with a combo of friends AND family are 20 percent more likely to remember their vacation than people who travel just with friends, just with family, as a couple or alone.

Check out more of the study’s findings in the quick video below and learn how you can create your most memorable trip yet.

Tag us in pics from your memorable vacay @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)